Anna O'Brien, founder of the body positive fashion blog Glitter and Lazers, is no stranger to being in front of the camera. However, even the most experienced influencers get nervous for photoshoots, especially when they are posing in Time Square in a bikini. O'Brien knew there would be comments from haters, but wasn't prepared for the disheartening comments that hyper-sexualized her body.
In an article for Cosmopolitan, O'Brien said that during the photoshoot, onlooking men shouted things like "twerk for the camera baby" and "I want to suck on them tasty toes."
Tears began to well and soon her sadness turned to anger. She began yelling back at the men, "It doesn't make it okay. You're disgusting. Please stop. Please just stop..."
In the face of feeling humiliated and wanting to cancel the rest of the shoot, O'Brien saw a friendly face in the crowd -- a little girl in a red tank top and overalls.
O'Brien waved at her and smiled.
The little girl's face lit up and whispered, "you're pretty."
"I realized in the moment, it had all been worth it. I had been seen," she wrote.
Above anything else, O'Brien wants to make one thing clear: "a plus size woman's worth, or any woman's worth for that matter, is not contingent on someone wanting to have sex with them."
Facing haters is hard enough, but to do so publicly takes an incredible amount of grace and strength. Because of her persistence, she is an inspiration to people all over the world.